A special four-day holiday weekend, a live Platinum Party concert at Buckingham Palace with the world's "biggest entertainment stars" and a street pageant on the Mall leading up the palace in London are among some of the celebrations planned to mark 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II's reign in June 2022. Next year, the 95-year-old will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth succeeded her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952 when she was 25.
Buckingham Palace on Wednesday unveiled details of a variety of engagements throughout the year to mark the historic occasion culminating in the Platinum Jubilee Weekend between June 2-5 next year. "An extended bank holiday, from Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5, will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone," the palace said in a statement.
"The four days of celebrations will include public events and community activities, as well as national moments of reflection on the Queen's 70 years of service," it said. Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries, expected to include New Delhi, to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional parade to mark the Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.
Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade will move down the Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, joined by members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional Royal Air Force fly-past, watched by the monarch and members of the royal family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
A Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen's reign will be held at St Paul's Cathedral in London. The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from the Queen's seven-decade reign.
Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event and details of the ballot for UK residents to secure audience tickets will be released in due course. Every year since the idea began in 2009, the Big Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship.
In 2022, the Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community, the palace said. A Big Jubilee Lunch can be a big or small street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque.
A pageant featuring over 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets. It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of the Queen's reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country.